In order to understand how Millennials consume, one should understand their relationship to affluence, and when it comes to luxury items, the message is not "I'm worth it", but "I earned it". According to Leah Swartz of FutureCast, the Millennial generation is flipping the definition of affluence upside-down. She says that the majority of affluent Millennials (64%) are female, and they are "not just affluent because of their male counterparts, but because because they’re key financial providers to the household." Consequently, luxury brands that originally targeted women with the message that luxury goods are 'deserved' need to shift their message to acknowledge that luxury goods are 'earned'. Swartz says, "This changes the game for many marketers and brands that typically targeted higher income households ... we are seeing this transition from deserved to earned take shape among affluent female millennial brand preferences”.
Furthermore, as Swartz explains, their pragmatism has macroeconomic consequences as lower-priced luxury is experiencing explosive growth. Millennials' favorite retail brands reflect their middle-class roots and bargain-hunting mentality, and luxury brands need to adapt to attract their attention. "When it comes to Millennials, it is not about the logo or the brand; it’s about the Value, Quality and Buzz – especially among affluent millennials. Affluent millennials are quickly redefining the luxury market ... it is all about how the individual consumer enhances the brand, not about how the brand enhances that consumer – a seismic shift from traditional luxury marketing."